AKASOL AG has celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for its new headquarters in southwest Darmstadt, Germany. The 22,000 m² site will feature a 7,000 m² main administration building and 15,000 m² of state-of-the-art production and logistics facilities, including a dedicated testing and validation center. Completion of the project is planned for mid-2020 and will enable the company to meet its growth plans over the coming years.
Picture above, from left to right: Carsten Bovenschen (CFO AKASOL AG), Matthias Martiné (IHK President Darmstadt Rhein Main Neckar), Sven Schulz (CEO AKASOL AG), Dr. Philipp Peter Nimmermann (State Secretary at the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing), Jochen Partsch (Mayor of Darmstadt), Stephen Raiser (CTO AKASOL AG), Felix von Borck (Head of Sales Rail & Industrial Vehicles AKASOL AG)
“AKASOL is experiencing a phase of extremely dynamic growth which requires continuous investments in our office and production capacities, as well as ongoing recruitment of new employees in almost every area," said AKASOL CEO Sven Schulz. “Our new headquarters will enable us to provide our highly-motivated employees with the best conditions for their valuable work, as well as offer a large number of attractive social and meeting rooms to promote our great corporate culture.”
A campus feeling with state-of-the-art technology for series production of high-performance battery systems for commercial vehicles
Two new buildings will be erected on the approx. 20,000 m² site in the south of Darmstadt. A four-story main administration building will have a gross floor area of approx. 7,000 m², while a production, assembly and logistics hall with a gross floor area of approx. 15,000 m² will be spread over two floors. AKASOL's existing Darmstadt office at the Schenck Technology and Industrial Park will be replaced by the new headquarters, though the company's series production facility in Langen will remain in operation.
The production and logistics building will be used for the expansion of serial production and the manufacture of small series battery systems. Prototype and sample construction, service workshops and an ultra-modern test and validation center for battery system development will also be located on the site. The latter will enable AKASOL’s developers to carry out mechanical, electronic and electrotechnical tests – from the battery cell to the battery system – using state-of-the-art testing equipment.
Currently, more than 240 AKASOL employees work across the company's two existing locations in Darmstadt and Langen. By the end of this year, the company expects to have approx. 270 employees, while the new location can accommodate up to 500 employees.
First North American Operations
AKASOL has also announced plans to open a production facility in the metro Detroit area of Michigan, USA. Opening dedicated operations in North America comes in response to specific demand for the company's high energy battery modules from major international manufacturers and will allow the company to pursue ambitious growth plans for the region. The production expected to begin in 2020 to meet growing demand from major international customers and the project expected to generate considerable investment and create over 200 jobs in the next five years.
Sven Schulz, CEO of AKASOL, said: "Not only will our new North American production facility enable us to meet the high demand we're receiving from our global customers, particularly a well-known Swedish manufacturer of trucks and buses, but it is also a core part of our international growth plans. Our unrivalled battery expertise from module to system level, coupled with the fact we are already undertaking series production for market-leading companies, means that we are well on the way to becoming the European market leader in commercial vehicle battery systems. Our new Michigan site will accelerate our business development activities with both new and existing North American customers."
Roy Schulde, President of AKASOL's US subsidiary AKASOL INC., added: "Two thirds of the initial capacity of our new US production facility will cater for new customers, with the remaining third dedicated to our existing customers. The high-performance lithium-ion battery systems manufactured at the site will be developed, tested and produced by highly-qualified engineers and be used on projects across the transportation sector, which is seeing ever-increasing electrification solutions entering the market."